Blog #3 - Sharing the Load

20th February 2018

I’m writing this on the eve of being the only member of Brave Bold Drama CIC in the country for a whole week. I’ll be waving my co-director Paul off tomorrow bright and early as he flies off to Spain for a week to celebrate turning 30. Have a fabulous time, Paul, you’ve earned it!

It’s always a bit alarming when one of us goes off and the other is left holding the fort alone, but this week is considerably quieter than the one we’ve just had. I’m proud to say that our half term events were extremely well attended, from film screenings to costume-making to improvised storytelling, it was a packed week. We welcomed back some old friends like friend Laura from Colourful Minds, Drew from Dandelion Music and Dan Templeton the animator, as well as welcomed some new practitioners including Stephanie Kempson and Andrew Kelly from Sharp Teeth Theatre.

It was particularly special to perform our new family show “George and the Flight of the Imaginees” to a capacity audience in the same space where it was created and rehearsed. It felt like a home-coming. (Incidentally, we also played the show to a sell-out crowd at The Pound Arts Centre in Corsham on Wednesday. We were performing as part of the Theatre Fest West, a festival organised by Salisbury Arts Centre for “up-and-coming” theatre makes of the South West.)

I won’t be totally idle this week though. Of course not. In addition to a lot of emailing, invoice-paying and meetings with community partners and artists, I’ll be opening up for our women’s only dance class on Monday evening, led by the wonderful Holly who is on placement with us from City of Bristol College. Our teenage Arts Award students will be visiting on Wednesday and on Saturday we’re open again for a special event to support Book Week. And this weekend we’ll be here helping families create costumes ready for Book Week which is coming up soon.

It's pretty exciting to think how far we’ve come in such a short time, which Paul touched upon in his last blog entry. But I do want to be completely honest at this point and say that carrying the new venture of Creative Workspace entirely between the two of us is an extremely heavy load. We currently have a small faithful band of volunteers, and big shout out to them, they are totally brilliant, but life is busy, children get sick and people are unexpectedly not available to help at the last minute. But because we are still always drawing on a really small pool of people, we still often find ourselves in a very precarious position when actually all it would take is two or three more people to help our community arts events at Creative Workspace run more smoothly.

So please, if you’re reading this, and you value what we are bringing to the community in Withywood through our work at Creative Workspace, or if you value our work as a theatre company, or maybe even if you’ve just heard that volunteering is one of the top 5 ways to give yourself a feeling of well-being, then can I urge, implore, plead and cajole you to sign up to our volunteers page on Facebook and try to find a way to give us a hand from time to time. The more people who come to help the less everyone has to do, and the more fun everyone will have.

Because Paul and I are extremely hard-working people and that’s not going to change, but right now we are desperately in need of more hands-on support.  Come along, have fun, bring a friend, heck, bring three friends. But please consider sharing the load with us!



(who finished writing this at 11.22pm and who had to be up at 5.20am the next day to take Paul to the airport….)